Virtual reality, once only popular in the gaming industry, is finding more real world applications.
More and more companies are making use of the technology, integrating it into their operations to revitalize business, cut costs and increase profits.
While filmmakers are increasing the story telling impact on the big screens with VR, businesses are adapting the technology to enhance products and services and increase consumer interest.
Ebay Inc's StubHub is using the technology to allow ticket buyers to check out the view from the seats before purchase. Arctic Cat Inc, a snowmobile manufacturer, has developed VR rides for prospective buyers to try out their new models at dealerships. 6 Flags is outfitting riders with VR headsets, enhancing ride entertainment with neither the need for nor the costly construction of an entirely new roller coaster.
With the ample variation of models and price ranges offered by competing developers of VR headsets, the original concept of VR in gaming consoles has been widened and its intended market increased as the technology's made more flexible with its adaptability to smart phones.
The growing use for VR further acquires a social aspect to the technology as non-profit organizations have begun to realize its potential to raise awareness. VR for Good has launched 2 programs. A boot camp for rising film makers and another which partners schools with professional film makers to tell a story about their communities.
The social aspect is made even far more significant with "Clouds Over Sidra", a short 360 VR video of a Syrian refugee in Jordan by Gabo Arora. Allowing potential donors into the life of the young Syrian girl as she explores a refugee camp, the VR experience had helped raise near twice what had been expected, a staggering $3.8 billion for UNICEF.